This report was published in July 2000. It should be considered outdated and is kept online for historical purposes only.

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Pioneer Profiles: George W. Bush's $100,000 Club
Name: Lee Bass
Occupation: President & Owner, Lee M. Bass, Inc.
Industry: Energy & Natural Resources
Home: Fort Worth, Texas
Net Worth: $3.9 Billion (53rd in the Fortune 400)


Political Contributions:
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Lee Bass manages the inherited oil assets of this now-diversified billionaire family, which is Bush’s fifth largest career patron, according to the Center for Public Integrity. When Bush’s ailing Harken Oil suspiciously won exclusive offshore drilling rights in Bahrain in ’90, the Basses bankrolled the venture. Two of Texas’ wealthiest Pioneer families, the Basses and the Wylys (see Charles Wyly, Jr.), mobilized their lobbyists to kill a ’97 bill that would have taxed investment partnerships in Texas, with the Basses threatening to move their operations to another state. Bush appointed Lee Bass chair of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), which is in hot water for selling alcohol and tobacco ads for brochures distributed to park visitors. In a controversial ’98 move, the agency privatized wildlife by granting permits that allow landowners to trap and breed “wild” deer that they can sell on the hoof to hunters who lease their land. Yale returned the $20 million that Lee Bass gave it in ’95 for a Western Civilization program. Bass wanted to control related faculty appointments; critics said he would use this power to exclusively promote ideas of “dead white European males.”

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